March 24, 1862
On Friday night about dusk, a man named, Swindler, who confined in the Atheneum, and regarded as a very important prisoner, concluded that he had played at that establishment as long as the engagement was pleasant or profitable, and so took his departure. He made his escape in the following manner: he was escorted to the privy (which is outside the prison and near a fence,) by one of the guards. – The guard stood some distance from his charge, gun in hand, having no suspicion that an escape was contemplated. Swindler succeeded in climbing upon the outside. He then ran away towards East Wheeling as fast as his legs would carry him. Soldiers were immediately sent in pursuit in all directions, but failed to discover his whereabouts.
Swindler is from Hampshire, and is regarded as one of the worst men in that county. He was here once before and was released upon taking the oath of allegiance. He had no sooner reached his home than he resumed his old treasonable tricks, and was arrested and brought back. He is a man of about five feet six inches in height and about forty years of age. His hair is turning gray and his eyes are black and keen. It will be almost impossible for Swindler to get back to Hampshire, and knowing this he will doubtless rusticate in Ohio until something turns up which he deems favorable.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: March 1862